Rebels survive humidity, top Eagles
Situated between the doubles courts at Lanesville, a lost packet of hot sauce baked in the sun last Tuesday.
During changeovers, the option was fluids much cooler than the condiment, which eventually found its way tossed to the side by a player.
In last Wednesday’s rather hot and humid late September day, South Central swept the singles courts to defeat the Eagles 4-1 in boys’ tennis.
All three South Central singles players ‘ Bryce Lewis, Zach Needler and Ryan Steen ‘ won in straight sets.
‘Our singles’ spots really stepped up today,’ South Central coach Casey Hogan said.
At No. 1 singles, Lewis was locked in a tight battle with Lanesville’s Jacob Graves. Each of the two sets required a tie-breaker to determine the winner. Lewis won out on both by 7-1 and 7-3 scores.
Needler had to work toward the net several times to fend off Lanesville’s Ethan Schickel to take the No. 2 slot. Needler won the first set 6-4 before taking the second, 6-3.
To sweep singles play, Steen got the best of Jonas Powers 6-4, 6-1.
‘Needler and Steen were just efficient out there on this hot day,’ Hogan said. ‘Needler closed out at the net, and Steen used his consistency to get us two big spots we needed today. Bryce recovered his energy and played a great tie-breaker to finish.’
It was back and forth on the No. 1 doubles court. At times, South Central’s Brady Kuchenbrod and Chase Schoen had runs of making power shots before Lanesville’s Gabe Gowens and Jack Kaufer countered with tough-to-reach angle shots.
Gowens and Kaufer eventually scored the lone win for the Eagles by a 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) score.
The first off the court was the No. 2 South Central doubles team of Will Weber and Jacob Daugherty that disposed of Lanesville’s Ethan Purdy and Kyle Gootee in straight 6-0 sets.
‘Our doubles teams continue to be our rocks, so it was nice to get a singles sweep in conference play,’ Hogan said. ‘This sets us up for a big showdown with Henryville (Sept. 25) for the (Southern Athletic) Conference championship. Both teams are 3-0 in conference play, so we have a rare winner-take-all final match. Should be fun.’
On Thursday, South Central’s doubles team scored wins over Austin, but the Eagles took the singles courts for a 3-2 victory.
Lewis lost at top singles to Trevor Johnson (7-5, 6-3), while Needler fell to Joseph Smith (6-3, 6-1). Gavin Parker took No. 3 singles for Austin 6-2, 6-3 over Steen.
In doubles, Kuchenbrod/Schoen won by a 7-5, 6-1 score over Chris Thomas and Cam McNeeley, while Weber/Daugherty rolled to a 6-3, 6-1 score over Jalen Hines and Caleb Weaver.
‘Our singles swept last night, and our doubles swept tonight,’ Hogan said. ‘Both our doubles teams have significant winning records this year. Anymore, it’s almost like we have two No. 1 doubles caliber teams; the No. 2 dubs has been trending lately. Singles matches were closer than the scores show. This match could have gone either way.’
South Central moved to 6-8 on the season.